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-   -   Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2 (https://www.wings900.com/vb/model-kits/145142-some-wwii-fighters-1-72-part-2-a.html)

Conventi 10-22-2018 02:23 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Thanks guys !

Conventi 11-21-2018 05:53 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
America´s first jet aircraft remains a rather obscure subject, even in scale modeling. The Bell P-59 Airacomet was not a success, but has an interesting history worth exploring.

Starting in early 1941, with the UK already at war and the USA still uninvolved, technology exchange was agreed upon the U.S. and British governments. The Americans were especially interested in the British Power Jets W1 engine, the jet engine that powered the first jet aircraft of the Royal Air Force, the Gloster Whittle (already shown here). Engines, documentation and technicians were transported to the United States, and General Electric was contracted to build a modified, americanized version of this engine, named the GE I-A. Bell Aircraft, who had production facilities near to GE, was hired to build the airframe for the first jet fighter aircraft of the US Army Air Force. Secrecy, as always these days, was a top priority. Therefore it was not an unusual sight to see the aircraft parked or towed outside with the engine intakes covered and a fake wood propeller mounted at the front !

The first prototype was ready by fall 1942 and the first flight was performed on October 1st, 1942. Bell´s design was a rather conservative one, the major difference to the German or British jet counterparts were the engines embedded in the fuselage near the aircraft centerline, while the Me 262 and the Gloster Meteor had wing-installed engine nacelles.

It was predicted the Airacomet could reach speeds up to 500 mph, however the greatest topspeed ever achieved was around 410 mph, which was not better compared to the top-rated piston aircraft of the USAAF at the time, the P-38, P-47 or P-51. Even worse, the aircraft was too heavy, sluggish and an unstable gun platform; the major problems were the underpowered engines (they had 40% less thrust compared to those of the Me 262) and the unsophisticated airframe design. In arranged mock dogfights against the P-38 or P-47, the Airacomet always lost. Consequently, the Air Force cancelled the ongoing construction contract with Bell, so only 66 aircraft (P-59A and B variants) were build. Focus was now set on the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, a new advanced design that was vastly superior. The P-59 never saw any combat and remained stateside, assigned to the 412th Fighter group, were it was used mainly as a pilot trainer for jet conversion. By 1949, all remaining Airacomet were retired. Today, six Airacomets have survived, and the one located at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino/CA is being restored to airworthy condition. When finished, it would be the oldest flying jet aircraft in the world.

This P-59A, “Smokey Stover” (named after a cartoon character) was the first jet aircraft to visit Alaska in late 1944, where it underwent testing in freezing weather conditions.

An obscure aircraft, so naturally it had to be a Czech Short Run kit, this time from Special Hobby, released in the early 2000s. It was a little tricky as expected, but generally OK. I have seen worse, but as usual I´m not always happy with the outcome, although the model itself is accurate enough. Maybe I´m not patient enough to fiddle with all the cleaning and corrections required for these kind of kits. This little diorama is supplemented by a CCKW 353 fuel truck, one of the standard truck designs of the US Army in WWII. A nice kit from Hasegawa, and the resin figures are from CMK.

https://aat-net.de/images/bilder/lag...wings/p59a.jpg

https://aat-net.de/images/bilder/lag...wings/p59b.jpg

https://aat-net.de/images/bilder/lag...wings/p59c.jpg

https://aat-net.de/images/bilder/lag...wings/p59d.jpg

https://aat-net.de/images/bilder/lag...wings/p59e.jpg

N3424V 11-28-2018 11:40 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Another nice and interesting post Michael.

Have you ever attempted applying wire antenna?

I've had very good success with used guitar strings. Of course, being a guitarist myself, I have a steady supply. If you don't own a guitar, I'm sure a local guitar shop will be able to supply you with some used strings, since they are discarded.

Of course any wire will do, but used steel guitar strings are already stretched straight and are easily bent to a slight curve.

1:72 scale models do OK without them, but utilizing a used high "E" string will work in this scale.

Just a thought and again good work.

Conventi 11-28-2018 01:09 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by N3424V (Post 1118614)
Another nice and interesting post Michael.

Have you ever attempted applying wire antenna?

I've had very good success with used guitar strings. Of course, being a guitarist myself, I have a steady supply. If you don't own a guitar, I'm sure a local guitar shop will be able to supply you with some used strings, since they are discarded.

Of course any wire will do, but used steel guitar strings are already stretched straight and are easily bent to a slight curve.

1:72 scale models do OK without them, but utilizing a used high "E" string will work in this scale.

Just a thought and again good work.

Thanks ! I think I should try this one. I have very fine scale wire here, very elastic but difficult to handle. Rigging is nerve wracking for me therefore I try not to build too many biplanes, especially not WWI ones ;) But guitar strings sound like a good idea.

Conventi 12-21-2018 07:44 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Sometimes nicknamed the „Frankenstein plane“ as it was assembled largely from various other aircraft parts (including enemy ones !), the Junkers Ju 287 V1 was the largest and heaviest jet powered aircraft to fly in WWII. Although it did not enter a series production, it is still considered a milestone in aerodynamic design.

In 1943, the German Air Ministry ordered the Junkers aircraft factory to develop a heavy jet-powered bomber that could travel at high subsonic speeds. High Speed and good handling/stall characteristics and also adequate low speed performance was required; quite a challenge in aerodynamic design. High speed subsonic wing designs were largely unresearched at the time. Highly swept wings were initially considered but they had too many disadvantages, like unfavourable stall characteristics: on a conventional swept wing design, the wingtips stall first, compromising aileron controls as they are usually installed on the outer part of the wing. By turning the wing 180 degrees and creating a forward swept wing, the stall begins at the wing root, making the aircraft more controllable at low speeds and high angles of attack. Also, on a more practical level, forward swept wings allowed for a rearward location of the main wing spar, therefore leading for a more efficent interior space.

Nevertheless, the Junkers engineers expected correctly that the forward swept wing design also had quite a few disavantages, like asymetric flexing of the wings in turns; this was especially a problem as todays strong and light materials like carbon composite were not avaiable at the time.

Therefore, and to ease construction and to speed up assembly, it was decided that the very first prototype should be a testbed and proof-of-concept for the forward swept wing design. So the aircraft was build from various other aircraft components: the cockpit and fuselage were taken from a Heinkel He 177 bomber, the tail from a Ju 388, the main gears of a Ju 352, and the front gears from captured B-24 Liberator bombers ! As the engineers did not want to compromise the structural integrity of the experimental wings, fixed landing gears were installed and the wheels covered by large aerodynamic fairings, giving the plane a somewhat archaic look. The front fairings were removed on later test flights. A remote controlled film camera was installed on the tail section to observe airflow over the wings; white woollen strings were glued on the fuselage and wings as an optical aid. To give additional thrust to the 20 ton+ aircraft, three RATO (Rocked assisted take off) units were installed under the jet engines. The rocket engines burned during take-off and ascent and were dropped off after usage, and returned to the ground on parachutes and could be reused. A brake parachute was installed to slow down the heavy plane after landing. As an interesting fact, the Ju 287 V1 maybe the fastest aircraft ever flown with fixed landing gears.
As can be seen on the drawing below, the final Ju 287 design would have looked quite different, including a completely new cockpit section, fuselage and tail and wings with six jet engines bundled as three-unit combined sets.

The first flight of the V1 prototype took place on August 8, 1944, followed by another 15-20 test flights (exact number is unknown). No major incidents did happen, although there were expected problems with the wings and engines, but the general concept looked feasible. But with the worsening war situation in Germany, the entire programme was suddenly cancelled by the Air Ministry in the fall of 1944, and the V2 and V3 prototypes were not completed, and the now engineless V1 put into storage at the Junkers factory. However, in the spring of 1945, work on the V3 prototype (which already looked very similar to the final design) was continued but not finished before the end of the war. The V1 and V2 prototypes were blown up before the Allied troops arrived, but the largely intact V3 prototype was taken by the Red Army back to Russia – along with most of the machinery and tooling of the Junkers factory, and engineers and designers. There, the plane was later developed by the German staff into the Junkers EF 131 (which looked almost identical to the proposed serial production version of the Ju 287) and test flown in 1946/1947.

The only plastic scale model kit of this strange plane was made by German company HUMA in the late 1990s. A short run kit, it is nonetheless of good quality and quite a fun kit. It has a few errors, like an incorrectly shaped rear fuselage and too small RATO units, but one has to live with that. Not a big deal. This weird plane looks great in any collection, I think.

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/Ju-287.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2872.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2873.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2874.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2875.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2876.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2877.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...gs/ju-2878.jpg

Flight fan 12-21-2018 09:46 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
That is one funny looking machine. It's almost a shame that the V3 didn't enter production, from a planespotting perspective. Those engine pods would've made for an interesting sight.

N3424V 12-21-2018 02:44 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Whatever the test pilots were paid to fly that bird was not enough.

I like the tail wheel on the a/c too. Must have required a significant flair to slow and land it since I imagine there were no flaps with that wing. Flying from that nose cockpit would have been interesting too.

Thanks again Michael for posting a model of such an interesting bird.

Conventi 12-21-2018 06:46 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by N3424V (Post 1119804)
Whatever the test pilots were paid to fly that bird was not enough.

I like the tail wheel on the a/c too. Must have required a significant flair to slow and land it since I imagine there were no flaps with that wing. Flying from that nose cockpit would have been interesting too.

Thanks again Michael for posting a model of such an interesting bird.

Thanks ! They used a brake parachute for landing, I believe one of the first aircraft to use it.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d0/e7...6d699a3d7e.png

Conventi 12-30-2018 01:33 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
One class of military aircraft that was only introduced shortly before WWII and virtually disappeared after was the military cargo/assault glider, the role taken over by the helicopter. The most produced glider of the War was the American Waco CG-4A, with over 14.000 units build.

The Russians were credited with the first operational military glider; however the Germans were the technical forerunners for most of WWII. Sailplanes and gliders were highly developed in Germany, especially as the treaty of Versailles largely prohibited motor flight in Germany in the interwar years.

The feasibilty of this new kind of weapon was demonstrated with success in 1940, when the Germans captured Fort Eben-Emael, a fortress in Belgium that was considered extremly difficult to conquer. But a small fleet of gliders landed on top of the fortress, undetected and surprising for the Belgians, and although the Germans were outnumbered, the victory was theirs. What were the advantages of these engineless gliders ? They could be produced cheaply and in large numbers, and could be used much more precisely compared to Paratroopers. Paratroopers were usually spread over a large area, while gliders had the ability for pin-point landings. Also, they were silent and could reach their target almost undetected, especially at night. And they allowed for transport and deployment of regular infantry and not the highly specialized Paratroopers, and of course cargo. The usual operational mode for gliders was to be towed near the target zone and the released for the rest of the journey. It was definetly not for the faint-hearted ! The unpowered gliders were build largely from wood and fabric, completely unprotected against enemy fire and landings could be quite violent. Although gliders were not specificially designed to be expendable, in most cases it was not practical to retrieve them from the battlefield; they were usually abandoned or destroyed after landing. Especially the Americans with their vast industrial resources considered them expendable and it was much easier just to build a new one.

Gliders varied widely in size; smaller ones like this Waco CG-4A or the very large German gliders: the Me-321 “Gigant”, the largest military glider ever used, could carry a light tank or 200 soldiers. The even bigger prototype Junkers Ju 322 “Mammoth”, essentially a flying wing, had the wingspan of a Boeing 747 but no tow aircraft of the time could securely lift it in the air.

The Waco CG-4A (CG for Cargo Glider) was the standard assault glider of the US Army Air Force in WWII. It saw action in major campaigns like the Invasion of Sicily, Operation Market Garden and the D-Day Normandy Invasion in 1944. It could carry 13 fully equipped soldiers or a Jeep or a howitzer. Vehicles were loaded/unloaded from the front, as the nose could be hinged upward. Tow aircraft were usually C-46 or C-47; they could tow a pair of Wacos. One interesting feature was that an overflying tow aircraft could pick up a CG-4 on the ground and catch it “on the fly”. Most surviving CG-4s were broken up after the war, but some fuselages were converted into mobile home trailers or hunting/fishing lodges.

This small diorama depicts a CG-4A during Operation Overlord (The Allied landings in Normandy, June 1944). It features the black/white “invasion stripes” painted on all allied aircraft to help visual identification. The kit and figures are from Italeri; the only company that ever made a CG-4A in 1/72 scale. The kit is quite old, but has been re-issued many times and is not that bad. Nice options are open doors and a moveable cockpit section; however this looked too fragile for me to build the model that way. And painting many figures is always fun.

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco1.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco2.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco3.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco4.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco5.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco7.JPG

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ings/waco6.jpg

N3424V 01-06-2019 03:50 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Looks good Michael.

I've often wondered what it was like coming in low over trees knowing there's no going around in one of those things.

Conventi 01-27-2019 07:37 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
The Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) Design Bureau ist best known as the main supplier of jet fighter aircraft for the Soviet/Russian Air Force and Eastern bloc states; but the roots of the company trace back to WWII, where the MiG-3 was their first mass-produced, and only, propeller fighter aircraft.

The MiG-3 was a refinement of the MiG-1, designed as a high-altitude interceptor. The performance of the prototype was impressive, as it was one of the fastest fighter aircraft of the time (around 1940). By June 1941, when the Germans invaded, the MiG-3 was the mainstay of the Soviet Air Force, although at the time there were more aircraft avaiable than trained pilots. Training proved to be tricky, as the MiG-3 was found to be diffcult to fly and very dangerous to handle for novice pilots – it had high landing speeds, numerous technical defects and unpredictable stall and spin characteristics responsible for quite a few accidents.

And unfortunately, the high altitude performance of the MiG-3 was more or less worthless – air combat on the eastern front took place at low to medium altitudes, where the performance of the MiG-3 was poor. Above 23.000 ft, the MiG-3 was faster compared to the Messerschmitt Bf109E, the German main rival at the time, but fights rarely took place at this altitude. Therefore, the MiG-3 was slowly phased out as a front-line fighter when other aircraft, like the Yak-1, became avaiable in larger numbers. Production of the MiG-3 was terminated in 1941, on a order directly from Stalin, as the factories were now required to build the Ilyushin IL-2 in large numbers – it used the same engine as the MiG-3. Remaining MiG-3s where transferred to the Moscow Air Defence (PVO), a separate branch of the Red Army, responsible for the air defence of the Russian homeland. Here, the MiG-3 was used against high flying German reconaissance and bomber aircraft, where it fared better. By early 1945 all remaining MiG-3 where phased out.

Despite the difficult handling of the fighter, a few pilots achieved ace status with the MiG-3, like the pilot of this MiG-3 “Black 7” of the Moscow Air Defence, Cpt. Ivan Zabolotny. He achieved 10 victories, including one aerial ramming of a German bomber, for which he received the decoration “Hero of the Soviet Union”. His aircraft is seen here in winter camouflage, armed with RS-82 air-to-air rockets, as it appeared in the winter of 1941/42. Zabolotny was killed by German bomber defence fire in January 1942.

This is one of the Hobbyboss quick assembly kits, and quite a good one. These kits sometimes tend to look a bit toylike, but the MiG-3 leaves a good impression and is detailled well (except the cockpit). Decals are from Printscale.

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/mig-01.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/mig-02.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/mig-03.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/mig-04.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/mig-05.jpg

Conventi 02-17-2019 08:35 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
It is quite astounding how many different aircraft projects were still under development in Germany in the last months of the war, despite dwindling resources. Many of these projects never left the drawing board, a few, like this Messerschmitt P1101, made it to the prototype stage but never flew. However, this jet experienced some sort of “resurrection” later in America.

With a worsening war situation in 1944, the German Air Ministry initiated the so-called fighter emergency programme, demanding development of an single seat, single jet-engine powered interceptor. Messerschmitt´s entry, the P1101, did not win but the Air Ministry requested Messerschmitt to further investigate in this project as they saw some potential with it. The P1101 was quite radical in it´s aerodynamical configuration for the time. As very high subsonic speed was required, conventional wings were not efficent enough so a highly swept wing was developed (which later became the standard for almost all jet aircraft designs). To test different wing configurations, the sweep angle of the wings could be changed manually on the ground, between 35 and 45 degrees. So it was the first variable-sweep wing ever developed. To ease up development, parts from other Messerschmitt models were used in the design; the basic wing was taken from the Me 262 jet and the main landing gear from the Bf 109. However, time was running out and the single, unfinished V1 prototype was found by American soldiers hidden in a tunnel, in Bavaria in late April 1945. The aircraft was 80% finished, with a mockup Heinkel HeS 011 jet engine installed (the most advanced German jet engine at the time).

Although it was damaged during the transport to the USA, hopes were still high to get this aircraft in the air. An American Allison jet engine was installed, but crucial design documents were missing and no flight was ever conducted. The P1101 was later handed over to the Bell Aircraft Company for further study. It was the basis for the Bell X-5 prototype, first flown in 1951. Although it was not a carbon-copy of the German design, it was highly influenced by the P1101. The main difference now was that the sweep angle of the wings could be changed by electric motors in flight.

Two X-5 prototypes were build, and the design was intended as a prototype for a low-cost jet interceptor for NATO partners. However, depending on the sweep angle, the X-5 displayed vicious flight and stall characteristics, leading to the loss of one prototype and death of the test pilot. Deemed to dangerous and eventually too small, the X-5 programme was cancelled and the remaining X-5 was retired in 1958 and transferred to the National Museum of the USAF, where it remains ever since. What happened to the original P1101 prototype is not known – it was probably scrapped.

There are a few kits of the P1101 avaiable in 1/72 scale, but mostly in “Luftwaffe ´46” (what-if) designs. Huma Models of Germany made a P1101 that could be build in it´s original configuration, as it was found in Germany and later displayed by the Bell Corporation. It can be build without engine cover, as it appears on most period photos, which is a nice touch. The kit even allows to build a later design P1101 with T-tail (that was never build). A short-run kit from the 1980s, it is not too detailled but the engine is done nicely.

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11011.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11012.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11013.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11014.jpg

http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11015.jpg
Bell X-5
http://www.aat-net.de/images/bilder/...ngs/p11016.jpg

N3424V 02-19-2019 11:44 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Nice work again Michael.

Does anyone else see a Mig-15 or a F-86 somewhere in that P-1101?

Conventi 02-21-2019 03:23 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by N3424V (Post 1122786)
Nice work again Michael.

Does anyone else see a Mig-15 or a F-86 somewhere in that P-1101?

Thanks ! Yes I would say there is a resemblance.

PT-TAA 02-22-2019 07:02 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
 
Really nice models, Michael, thanks for sharing. Reminds me of my modelling years, who basically ended in 2007. Most boxes have been sold so far altough I still have many Japs waiting to be made I don't know when I could be back to my roots.


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